Outlook 2016/ 2019 search not working correctly

Meeee 141 Reputation points

Recently I have noticed that on several of our PC's that the outlook search facticity is not working correctly, when returning results it will miss off the last 7 / 14 days of results so for example if I do a search the first result that will be returned will be 7 / 14 days in the past from today even though there are emails that would meet the search criteria that are newer than the results indicate.

We are running running Outlook 16.0.13426.20270 the back end server is exchange server 2019 cumulative update 7
Anyone else experiencing this issue or have an idea of how to fix it.

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Outlook: A family of Microsoft email and calendar products.Management: The act or process of organizing, handling, directing or controlling something.
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Exchange Server Management
Exchange Server: A family of Microsoft client/server messaging and collaboration software.Management: The act or process of organizing, handling, directing or controlling something.
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  1. Michal Barták 231 Reputation points


    since you are mentioning the exchange version, I believe you are running clients in Online mode. You can try to reindex the content of your mailbox databases. That would always be a good start.

    I cannot really find a proper link from MS docs on how to force exchange to rebuild indexes but you can quickly find it. In general just stop the search service, rename the whole folder containing the index (by default with your DB file location) and start the service. You will see a new file created and DB status crawling.

    In case of cached mode in outlook, I found this issue many times. It just in general outlook searching with cache mode sucks. You can also reindex the files from within Windows OS.

    Hope some of it helps.

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  2. Yuki Sun-MSFT 40,781 Reputation points

    Hi @Meeee ,

    Before going further, would you please clarify the things below which could be helpful to narrow down the issue?

    1. Is it affecting some particular users in your environment? If this is true, have you noticed if they have anything in common that differs from the other normal users? Such as the version of the Outlook and whether the users in question belong to a same mailbox database.
    2. Considering that it's a recently occurred issue, have you made any possibly relevant changes to these users or in your environment right before the issue started?

    Meanwhile, as mentioned by michalbartak, to help narrow down the issue, please check the mode the users are running, try switching between Exchange Online mode and Cached mode to see if there would be any improvement. You can also test by searching in OWA and see if the proper results can be returned.

    If there is no issue in OWA, it's suggested to test on one of the affected user's machine by rebuilding the search catalog and see how it goes.

    If the issue can be reproduced in OWA or Online mode, you may check the content index status using the cmdlet below:

    Get-MailboxDatabaseCopyStatus -Server $env:ComputerName | Format-Table Name,Status,ContentIndex* -Auto  

    It's also recommended to check for search-related event via Event Viewer, for instance, you may check the following event sources:

    • MSExchangeFastSearch
    • MSExchangeIS

    As regards to the rebuild of the content index mentioned by michalbartak, you may refer to this official document for the detailed steps:
    Reseed the search catalog

    If an Answer is helpful, please click "Accept Answer" and upvote it.
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  3. Meeee 141 Reputation points

    Hi again

    so to answer the questions - running in cached or online or OWA does not make a difference the results are consistently incorrect

    We are running Exchange 2019 so cannot see a simple way to reindex the database as it is not the same as Exchange 2016 so does not have an index file location.

    The issue affects everyone outlook 2016 & 2019 users so I was suspecting Exchange as the issue only appears to have started since we installed cumulative update 7. I have since installed cumulative update 8 but this has made no difference.

    Name Status ContentIndexState

    A-G\<Server Name Here> Mounted NotApplicable

    H-M\<Server Name Here> Mounted NotApplicable

    N-S\<Server Name Here> Mounted NotApplicable

    T-Z\<Server Name Here> Mounted NotApplicable

    Nothing in the event log relating to



    Hoever I did notice this one -

    Log Name: Application

    Source: Microsoft-Office Server-Search

    Date: 21/12/2020 17:04:17

    Event ID: 2158

    Task Category: Unified Logging Service

    Level: Critical


    User: SYSTEM

    Computer: Description:

    Event 20 (Search) of severity 'Critical' occurred 2 more time(s) and was suppressed in the event log

    Event Xml:

    <Event xmlns="http://schemas.microsoft.com/win/2004/08/events/event">


    <Provider Name="Microsoft-Office Server-Search" Guid="{6aa8a41d-229d-42e8-a45e-49dd4f7f6e09}" />
    <TimeCreated SystemTime="2020-12-21T17:04:17.905514200Z" />
    <Correlation />
    <Execution ProcessID="2912" ThreadID="8804" />
    <Security UserID="S-1-5-18" />



    <Data Name="int0">20</Data>
    <Data Name="string1">Search</Data>
    <Data Name="int2">2</Data>



    The only way I have found to make it return the missing results is with Outlook 2019 is to change the search string to include this year so if I were searching for content then I would use "content received:this year"

    Which seems to bring in the missing results

    Any ideas anyone???